The Blues’ forward depth has been compromised once again, as the Carolina Hurricanes claimed Ty Rattie on waivers Wednesday.
The St. Louis Blues’ forward depth was weakened on Wednesday morning, as the Carolina Hurricanes claimed Ty Rattie off waivers from the Blues. Rattie had been waived Tuesday afternoon in what was likely the conclusion of a goodwill gesture after the Blues kept Rattie around to participate in the Winter Classic festivities.
The 23-year-old Rattie had played in just four games this season, registering no points. Though he got some action during a three-game conditioning stint with the AHL Chicago Wolves in early November, Rattie had been a healthy scratch for a large chunk of the season. His chances had been sparse in recent years, too, as he played in 26 NHL games over the last three seasons. He had four goals and four assists during that time.
Rattie now heads to the Hurricanes, and he could get a chance to face the Blues at Scottrade Center on Thursday. Carolina has failed to receive much production from their bottom nine group of forwards, so Rattie could get a real chance to be part of their lineup.
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With Rattie out of the mix, it’s most likely that the Blues will operate with a 13-forward, eight-defenseman roster for the near future. That will allow them to maintain a rotation between Carl Gunnarsson, Brad Hunt, and Robert Bortuzzo, and Nail Yakupov can serve as the extra forward. However, the Blues will keep looking at players on their AHL squad as potential depth forwards for later on in the season.
NHL.com’s Lou Korac tweeted Wednesday that Ken Hitchcock mentioned Kenny Agostino, Wade Megan, and Ivan Barbashev as players at AHL Chicago who are playing very well and pushing for a promotion. Agostino leads the AHL in points and has basically been begging for a call-up with his play as of late, while Megan leads the Wolves in goals and scored in his NHL debut with the Blues late last month before returning to the minors. Barbashev, a second-rounder in 2014, is arguably the club’s top forward prospect and has really rounded into form as of late.
While he’s currently dealing with a wrist injury, the Blues will also have winger Magnus Paajarvi, who is signed to a one-way contract, at their disposal if they should need more forward depth later on this year.